Anyone can create a blog. Building a successful blog, on the other hand, requires hard work. Yet it’s worth every ounce of effort because, when used correctly, this low or no-cost communication vehicle can do many powerful things including: positioning you as an expert or thought leader in your industry; helping you market your products or services globally; allowing to test your ideas to see if they have wings; bringing your web presence to life; helping potential clients worldwide find you; and helping you engage in a conversation with your customers.
A blog, short for “web log,” is an instant online publishing tool that allows anyone to add fresh content to a web page, share knowledge, and reflect their personality. A few of the top blogs are: Seth Godin (http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/), Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends (http://www.smallbiztrends.com), Chris Brogan (http://www.chrisbrogan.com/), Rita Gunther McGrath (http://ritamcgrath.com/blog/), and Ries’ Pieces, by Laura Ries (http://ries.typepad.com/).
The sole purpose of a blog is to share information. You use it to let your audience know you are good at something, but at the same time they learn and grow on topics ranging from making jewelry to global trade consulting or flower arrangements. You rarely use a blog to sell a product directly, unless the product is directly derived from your own work, as in the case of a release of a new book (Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably, for example), a webinar, a podcast or tweet chat you participated in, or a presentation that your readers might like to attend.
You can create a blog from scratch and independent of your Web site or build it as part of your site if your web host has that capability. The advantage of adding it to your site is fivefold: It brings more life to your site, increases traffic, permits visitors to comment (which is an additional way to engage and grow your customer base), allows you to listen and join the conversation, and increases your search engine rankings. The disadvantage of adding it to your Web site is that if your blog takes off in popularity and is dependent on your core business and you want to sell it (the Pittsburgh Mom blog, for example, was purchased by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), you might run into an issue if you don’t also want to sell your business, which, by way of your Web site, your blog is dependent upon.
All blogs must contain the following …
Note: This post is an excerpt from “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.” To find out what all blogs must contain and to learn more about exporting, purchase the book here. Haven’t paid a visit to The Global Small Business Blog (photo as shown)? Go here!